The FINANCIAL — The 2011 Introduction Course on the WTO for least-developed countries (LDCs), organized by the Institute for Training and Technical Co-operation of the WTO, concluded on 29 July 2011 in Geneva.
ITTC Director Hakim Ben Hammouda presided over the opening ceremony and Susan Hainsworth, Head of the Geneva-based Courses Unit, presided over the closing of the course.
Twenty-four representatives from least-developed countries (LDCs) attended the three-week course, which was conducted in French at WTO headquarters as part of the training programme of the WTO Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation (ITTC). Introduction Courses are level 1 activities in the context of the WTO's 3-level progressive learning strategy.
During the course, participants were given an overview of the structure, rules and functioning of the organization in a series of sessions delivered by ITTC trainers and Secretariat staff from other WTO divisions. They also had the opportunity to develop a network of contacts both amongst themselves and with WTO staff.
The course programme focused on the development dimension of the multilateral trading system, with a specific orientation towards LDCs' negotiating priorities and needs. During the specific sessions, participants were briefed on the state of play of the negotiations launched within the framework of the “Doha Development Agenda” (DDA). Officials from the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) presented their technical cooperation activities for developing countries, emphasising the programmes targeted towards LDCs. In addition, the Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL) presented information on the support it provides to LDCs. These sessions serve to strengthen participants' understanding of, and encourage the establishment of contacts with, other international organizations in Geneva.
Participants were also given the opportunity to attend the opening session of the Third Global Review of Aid for Trade and the General Council meeting.
This course was funded from the WTO regular budget as part of its commitment to provide capacity-building in the context of the DDA.